It was "in-the-works" for two-and-a-half years, but now it's confirmed today that St. Vincent and former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne will release an entire collaborative album, "Love This Giant." The 4AD/Todo Mundo effort will drop on Sept. 11, and has been preceded by the first song to arrive, "Who."
This jagged and melodic number bumps around with polyrhythms and unusual harmonies -- a la Dirty Projectors and tUnE-yArDs -- with a lot of belting from Byrne and angelic refrains from St. Vincent (aka vocalist and guitarist Annie Clark). The brass does a lot of carrying here, which I love: the horns give it some emotional weight to all the whimsy and 1,000-yard staring.
There will apparently be a lot of horns on the album overall, with help from the guys in Antibalas and The Dap-Kings helping out. Engineer and songwriter John Congleton of moody rock outfit The Paper Chase also lends a hand on programmed drums. Ten of the album's 12 tracks were co-written by Byrne and Clark, and each writing one individually.
And with a snap of your fingers, a new album has likely entered into the top 10 of NPR's year-end list.
No telling if rapper Big K.R.I.T. will earn a Grammy nomination for work off of his confusingly titled studio debut "Live from the Underground" or for his guest spots on tracks from Wiz Khalifa or Curren$y. But in case he wins any award, he already has an acceptance speech worked out.
"Thank You Kindly" really is a big, simple, slobbery wet kiss from the Mississippi-bred rhymer, a one-off thank-you-note on the heels of the release of "Underground" last week. That effort, as we learned today, bowed at No. 5 with 41,000 on the Billboard 200 album sales chart today.
"I wanted to thank all the fans for the support, so I did this one for ya’ll," he wrote on the song's SoundCloud page.
"Underground" had an enormous amount of support right off the bat, at least from its guesting musicians. From artists like B.B. King to Melanie Fiona to Ludacris to 2 Chainz.
Chris Brown has extremely rare on-camera interviews in promoting his forthcoming "Fortune" album, but he hit up "106 & Park" on Monday to unveil another new song as well as grin his way through a few softballs.
Prior to introducing the music video to "Don't Wake Me Up," Brown talked about where he keeps his Grammy Award and his neck tattoo, and thanked his fans for supporting him as he had to "go through what I went through" (his little nickname for "felony").
I'll spare you Brown's reference to Rihanna's "Birthday Cake" remix, underage girl jokes, the crotch-grab and the crying fans -- you can view each in the interview clips below. But I'd also recommend sparing yourself of the song. The generic dance tune puts Brown back into his "Transformers" voice, with a repeat of the word "up" more than five dozen times. He's actually a strong singer, so it's a surprise he's squandered a perfectly good Music Video In The Desert for a melody so tactless. Put 'er on mute and pretend you're privy to another one of Leo DiCaprio's dreams in "Inception" instead.
At this point, six of the 14 songs from the regular tracklist to "Fortune" are available for perusal. Brown will undoubtedly score another No. 1 with this effort. Since there's two more weeks before "Fortune" arrives on June 26, I'm positive there will be more songs previewed in the next few days. But do you think he should put a cap on the number of new drops? Or can it only help -- or hurt -- his bottom line?
Below the videos is the tracklist to "Fortune," and highlighted are the songs already available for stream or via video. Any of them your favorite?
Here is the tracklist for Chris Brown's "Fortune":
1. Turn Up The Music
2. Bassline 3. Till I Die (Ft. Big Sean & Wiz Khalifa) 4. Mirage (Ft. Nas)
5. Don’t Judge Me
7. Biggest Fan 8. Sweet Love 9. Strip (Ft. Kevin McCall)
10. Stuck On Stupid
11. 4 Years Old
12. Cadillac (Ft. Sevyn) 13. Don’t Wake Me Up (above)
14. Trumpet Lights (Ft. Sabrina Antoinette)
Dispatch is back with newly recorded material after a 12-year album-making hiatus, and they have a pair of fresh tunes to show for it.
The band dropped decidedly gushy "Josephine" today, on the heels of releasing roots-rock-rap "Not Messin'" last week. Both are distinctly different flavors from the Boston-bred trio, which last released full-length "Who Are We Waiting For?" in 2000. They broke up in 2004 only to reconcile in 2009 for an impressive number of one-offs...
Dispatch, when they first split, had a farewell show that drew more than 100,000 fans at the Hatch Shell in Boston. Fast forward a few years, and they sold out three shows at New York's Madison Square Garden in 2010. This weekend was another big moment for the group, as they performed at Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tenn.; they were part of Dave Matthews Band's Caravan series last year; and they'll hit up Outside Lands in San Francisco this fall.
Metric's "Youth Without Youth" from brand new "Synthetica" is the sound of disenchantment and a riot to the sound of a Gary Glitter beat. The video is pretty contained, but has many of the same emotional elements.
Lead singer Emily Haines and her bandmates are featured in shots in-between slow-motion of the old and young doing unexpected and unsettling things. For instance, stacking tires to knock them down? Stacking cakes on top of each other in the same manner? Both mischievous, both unexplained. It's a mystifying but visually interesting take on the song, which features an upbeat tempo opposite of the clip's measured snapshot plod.
It was directed by designer/photographer Justin Broadbent, and "blends the old with the new through imagery of themes present throughout Synthetica while simultaneously and subtly referencing moments throughout Metric's career," according to a release. Can you name those "moments?"
As I mentioned in my review of Fiona Apple's show at SXSW this year, part of her beauty is her ability to tread that line of perfect sanity and snapping into brambles of a nervous breakdown. Her single "Every Single Night" -- with its close-proximity vocal recording and its war-cry chorus -- has the same appeal.
And now its music video does too. Poor Fiona is half-consumed by a octopus and needs lay down with the buffalo-headed man every single night. She is followed and afraid at points, and then utterly alone at others, weaving those spindly arms through one bizarre nocturnal rite after another. The snails are cute... her rolling around in them is not.
It sounds like Lady Gaga may be close to completing her next album, as she already has solid plans for promotion on her calendar.
"Exciting news little monsters! I've played my new record for my label and will be announcing my new Album Title in September!" she Tweeted earlier today (June 8).
Hey, maybe Gaga doesn't even know what the name is yet. But that's not the point. If she is this adamant about being ready to move on to promoting her third album, then she's ready to have her fans move on as well.
Which is a good thing. "Born This Way" didn't have the legs on it that Interscope had hoped, nor the critical acclaim. While Gaga's popularity has obviously grown since its release last May -- and her live shows and strong media personality are good reasons why -- 2012 is the time to leave that set behind, not 2013.
The news resembles the move she made with the lead-up to "Born This Way." She announced the name of the album during her acceptance speech for Video of the Year at the 2010 MTV VMAs, which also are in September. She unveiled the album release date on New Year's Day this year, as well as the title track single. Then it was five solid months of album promotion in the lead-up to the May 23 release. So we now know that her label likes at least seven months of lead-up.
Mother Monster is currently on her Born This Way Ball tour overseas, with stops in Europe and Australia through the summer. However, she has yet to announce the North American leg. With news that the promotional process for her as-yet-untitled has started even now, technically, it may be that she'll modify her show to include new songs or visual motifs for her U.S. audience.
No word if the songs she played for label execs were the finalized versions, but it's good to know they've given the OK on the tunes themselves.
Frank Ocean is finally ready to drop his Def Jam studio set, and fans have to only wait a month and a week to hear it.
With a teaser trailer posted to his blog, Ocean teased "Channel Orange," due on July 17. The video features a slow, sweeping shot of a ritzy car, its passengers (if any) unclear. However, the song playing over seems to indicate all sorts of sexy happening, with his love interest "workin' at the Pyramid." Is Ocean lusting for a stripper named Cleopatra?
"Channel Orange" comes on the heels of "nostalgia, ULTRA," the mixtape he dropped last year that yielded buzz songs like "Novacane." This year, after a messy release history, "Thinkin Bout You" was dubbed to be the leading single from the new album (it was originally written for Bridget Kelly, who also released her version).
Ocean, who is also part of hip-hop collective Odd Future, has been signed to Def Jam for much longer than a year. He'd mentioned in interviews last year he wasn't considered a priority at the label until after Odd Future had blown up on everybody's radar after the South By Southwest Music conference; it seems he finally got on the dance card.
However, it is a little strange that Def Jam is announcing this so close to the release date. "Thinkin' About You" seems to be the only possible new inclusion in the tracklist, though it's up in the air if they'll be borrowing any "nostalgia, ULTRA" songs. He could certainly use more exposure to hip-hop/R&B audiences, which he'll get during his tour in July and part of August -- but he's spending some of August and beyond opening for Coldplay, and who knows what the feedback from that will be.
The Killers' new album is titled "Battle Born," and every good battle needs an army. So the Las Vegas troupe recruited a number of high-power producers including Steve Lillywhite, Damian Taylor, Brendan O’Brien, and previous collaborator Stuart Price, who helped smack the sound on the band's 2008 hit "Human."
"Battle Born," the Killers' fourth full-length will drop some time this fall, and is the follow-up to 2008's "Day & Age." Since that release, frontman Brandon Flowers went off to make a solo album, and judging from the trailer the band dropped today, the group is heading further still into synthy territory, as it's done increasingly.
In an interview with NME, drummer Ronnie Vanucci said the title fits the band's state of mind during the recording process. "It's living up to its title. This is our difficult fourth record."
Rock band Gaslight Anthem's new single "45" took some time to grow on me. It reminds me of a lot of material from their last album, and any band should feel pressure to justify the filler phrase "Heee-eeey." However, The chorus is killing me. I'm improving on my air-drumming and I find myself doing a lot of pointing, especially on the "see you on the flip side" part.
The music video for "45" features Gaslight Anthem fans reacting about the same, pushing up against the barricades at a show in the troupe's home state of New Jersey. Interspersed are shots of Asbury Park and other sites around the band's stomping grounds.
As previously reported, "45" is culled from "Handwritten," due on July 21. The band have already set many tour dates, below.
Here are the Gaslight Anthem's tour dates:
06/08 – Nickelsdorf, AT @ Nova Rock
06/09 – Munster, DE @ Vainstream Rockfest
06/11 – London, UK @ Koko’s
06/13 – Keil, DE @ Max
06/14 – Hultsfred, SE @ Hultsfred Festival
06/15 – Arhus, DK @ Northside Festival
06/16 – Oslo, NO @ Norwegian Wood
06/17 – Seinajoki, FI @ Provinssirock
06/23 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Orion Music + More
07/05 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
07/07 – Portland, OR @ Hawthrone Theater
07/08 – Seattle, WA @ Crocodile
07/11 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fineline
07/12 – Lawrence, KS @ Bottleneck
07/13 – St. Louis, MO @ Firebird
07/14 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bunbury Music Festival
07/16 – Toronto, ON @ Opera House
07/18 – Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge
07/19 – Chapel Hill, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
07/20 – Washington, DC @ U Street
07/22 – Boston, MA @ Middle East
07/24 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall
08/05 – Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza
08/16-17 – Kiewit, BE @ Pukkelpop
08/18 – Ludinghausen, DE @ Area 4
08/19 – Leipzig, DE @ Highfield Festival
08/24 – Leeds, UK @ Leeds Festival
08/26 – Reading, UK @ Reading Festival
09/11 – Quebec City, QC @ Agora #
09/12 – Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre #
09/13 – Ottawa, ON @ CE Centre #
09/15 – Chicago, IL @ Riot Fest #
09/16 – Milwaukee, WI @ Eagles Ballroom #
09/17 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Deltaplex #
09/20 – Houston, TX @ Bayou Music Center #
09/21 – Pensacola Beach, FL @ DeLuna Fest
09/22 – Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Pavilion #
09/24 – Denver, CO @ The Fillmore Auditorium #
09/25 – Denver, CO @ The Fillmore Auditorium #
09/28 – Tempe, AZ @ Tempe Beach Park #
09/29 – Anaheim, CA @ Honda Center #
10/01 – Las Vegas, NV @ Hard Rock Cafe #
10/02 – Reno, NV @ Grand Sierra Theatre #
10/04 – Victoria, BC @ Save On Foods Memorial Centre #
10/ 06 – Calgary, AB @ Stampede Park BMO Centre #
10/07 – Edmonton, AB @ Edmonton Expo Centre #
* = w/ Soundgarden
# = w/ Rise Against and Hot Water Music